Asgiriya Monastery

  • Sharebar

<p>The Asgiriya monastery lay on the hill crop to the west of the Sri Dalada Maligawa and to the north of the historic hill known as the Bahiravakanda. The monastery is said to have been founded during the period of king Parakramabahu IV (1305- 1335) of Kurunegala. The original monastery extended to the high plains where at present the Trinity College is located. As the monks from Walasgala in Yapahuva had taken residence here, this location too came to be known as Asgiri (Accagiri) which is synonymous with Walasgala.</p>
<p>The monastery consists of several temples, eg. Parana Pansala (Old Temple), Alutt Pansala (New Temple), Meda Pansala (Middle Temple) and the Adahana Maluva Gedige Viharaya. In the old temple, now called Wijayasundararamaya, contains the image house and an abandoned Chapter house, while the Meda Pansala contains the Chapter House corresponding to the one at Malwatta Viharaya, where all religious functions, including the Higher Ordinatons are held. The Adhana Maluwa Gedige Viharaya is a significant site in that the Polonnaruwa Alahana Parivena tradition of cremating royalty has been practised here too. It is said that queen Chandravati, mother of king Vikramabahu was cremated at the site. That this practice had been continued is, indicated by an old picture showing several funerary stupas at this site. The Gedige shrine too is significant architecturally, for it simulates the 14th century Gedige at the Natha Devale.</p>